There's nothing like a sing-a-long as well. Best for: Those wanting a darker tone to their Christmas viewing as well as a few catchy tunes. Jim Carrey took on Dr Seuss' most grim of characters for a really sweet film with some nightmarish scenes and a lot of rhyming. Best for: The Grinch's poor put-upon dog, Max, being dragged into all of his negative schemes, plus Carrey's ability to bend in all manner of poses.
Various versions of this have surfaced - in , and - but the central theme is the same. Tough consumer business mum has her belief in Father Christmas reinvigorated, everyone smiles. The little girl also genuinely believed it was Santa. Best for: Using God's existence to prove that Santa Claus is also real in a court of law was a sight to behold. When is Miracle on 34th Street on TV? One of the staples of the festive season, White Christmas is a must-see at Christmas. Featuring a newer version of the Bing Crosby classic from Holiday Inn, the musical sees a music act team up with two sister to help their former military commander save his lodge.
In the s, Bruce Willis was lord of the screen, even when it came to Christmas. So in , people were more interested in his beefy cop John McClane saving the Nakatomi Plaza from the late Alan Rickman than a man in a white beard coming down the chimney. When is Die Hard on TV?
Film4 are trying to help out by showing 's big-budget sequel Die Hard 4. This puppet rendering from is one of many taking Dickens' story as its source, but it's one of the funniest, with Michael Caine the crochety Ebeneezer who manages to play it straight. Best for: Rizzo's 'light the lamp not the rat' is an unlikely Christmas catchphrase, but the best.
Another grown-up Christmas hit, with Billy Bob Thornton the disgusting Father Christmas who picks up groupies and sponges off naive children. Back in the s, Tim Allen was a TV legend, and in this hilarious take on a festive fantasy, he's playing up to the camera as the dad who accidentally becomes Santa. Aled Jones' voice famously doesn't appear in the film, but the British classic is perfect anyway thanks to Raymond Brigg's moving pictures.
Best for: Learning that beautiful things don't have to last forever to change your life. When is the Snowman on TV? Those creepy, gross little creatures might not make you feel festive, but you'll never forget how Phoebe Cates' dad died thanks to her gruesome tale in At the other end of the scale, Elsa's adventures with her sister Ana and an array of festive friends was a smash for Disney and is still kid-friendly in the extreme. A workaholic dad forgets to get his son Jamie's gift - the must-have toy of the season.
Cue a race to get the toy before it's too late. Arnie, humour, and an overly festive plot. What's not to love? Hailed at the time for its animation, the film featuring Tom Hanks' voice hasn't worn brilliantly, but the spirit of a child's belief in Christmas is still strong.
Classic Hollywood was seldom more glamorous than when it brought together Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in and paired them with a gorgeous Irving Berlin soundtrack.
Best for: The original home of White Christmas , the daddy of all Christmas songs. Two neighbours battle it out as they up the stakes decorating the house. It's so simple plot wise, but there's Broderick and DeVito. The smash hit has become a modern classic as viewers can't get enough of funnyman Will Ferrell's antics as a human raised as an obstreperous elf who finally meets his real-life dad - played by a truculent James Caan. When is Elf on TV? The stop motion animagic version of the classic tale is a must see with the kids. There's even a bit of a twist. A clever and honest holiday film that you can watch with the kids.
The untold story of how Santa delivers all those gifts. Cary Grant is at peak cutness as the guardian angel who responds to a desperate soul's call. It's all nicely innocent, with a nice tied up ending. It doesn't scream Christmas at you, but it is set at Xmas. Tom Burton's second go at the Batman franchise has the most memorable mistletoe movie moment, it also has all the dark tones a la Nightmare Before Christmas. Two employees at a store that can't stand each other - it's the recipe for many a rom-com, but this has all the festive cheer. Best for: Yes, it's predictable but it's like wearing your favourite pair of shoes.
What's Christmas without a musical? Kal Penn and John Cho's friends are at odds after destroying their Christmas tree, an all-night hunt ensues. Talking of star power, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Jude Law and Cameron Diaz definitely bring more style than substance to this romcom that's one for the lovers. Viggo Mortensen is relentlessly worrying as a hood who may not be what he seems.
Famous for a legendary fight in a bathhouse that will have male viewers nervously crossing legs.
Young Rebecca Ava Cantrell Watch vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows from the same director. Sykes has a lot of fun teasing these and other thoughts out. All of these can affect the light and color quality and make it difficult to achieve consistency in your shots. Telling the story of a cadre of extremely attractive upper-middle-class white teens played by shiny adults Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Nina Meyers, Jake Busey and Neil Patrick Harris who get their cherries popped and then ground into hamburger inside the abattoir of interstellar war, Verhoeven cruises through the many tones of bellicose filmmaking: hawkish propaganda, gritty action setpieces and thrilling adventure sequences, all of it accompanied by plenty of gut-churning CGI, giant space bugs and human heads alike exploding without shame or recourse or respect for basic physics and human empathy. There are lots of options, and lots of confusing terminology around different types of lights, wattages, color temperature, bulbs, gels, filters, and more.
Eddie the Eagle Dexter Fletcher, No, really. Good support from such unlikely stars as Christopher Walken and Hugh Jackman. The spirit of Ealing lives. Escape from Alcatraz Don Siegel, A piece of cinematic history. Who better than Patrick McGoohan to play the warden? Fargo Joel Coen, A heavily pregnant police chief Frances McDormand investigates a series of murders and a botched kidnapping plot in this influential black comedy. Fantastic Mr Fox Wes Anderson, George Clooney is the titular animal, who, years after retiring, gets back into the chicken-stealing business.
His return to the fray arouses murderous intentions among local farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean. The Bagpuss -style animation could not be more charming.
Award-winning comedy set in a rugby-mad school during the s, concerning the sometimes fraught friendship between a gay, sports-hating loner and a star jock. Under the tutelage of an inspirational English teacher Andrew Scott , these guarded youngsters slowly learn to be true to themselves. You read that trivia right. Kal Penn went on to become an adviser in the Obama White House.
It proved to be one of the most effective exercises in pure cinema of the decade.
Michael Fassbender is transcendent. Pegg and Nick Frost are small-time rural cops trapped in a sprawling Wicker Man conspiracy. Waititi puffs up the mythology of the place only to pop it like a balloon. Like this? Watch vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows from the same director.
Blackly comic violence ensues. It Follows David Robert Mitchell, Fiendishly clever psychological horror about a sexually transmitted murderous ghost. Maika Monroe is superb as the Final Girl. If only they can stop stalking their exes online. The animation is spookily beautiful. Randy Newman delivers some great songs.
The live-action sequences are also charming.
The academics and the critics disagree. They are also among the most beautiful animated films ever made. What we have essentially is a Chinese wuxia epic remodelled as an anthropomorphic comedy. Better ideas have delivered worse films. Though imperfect, La La Land is a beautifully poised tribute to among other things the playful flourishes of Jacques Demy. A pleasure. Is Jessica relapsing? Overlooked on release, this La Fanu-inspired intrigue is now rightly regarded as one of the great movie freak-outs.
Let the Right One In Tomas Alfredson, Adapting a fine book by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Alfredson breaks new ground in the vampire genre with the story of a lonely boy falling for the young actually impossibly ancient girl next door. The film does not shy away from horror. But it is most memorable as a study of childhood insecurity. Creepily beautiful. The Lunchbox Ritesh Batra, Irrfan Khan can stake a claim to being among the very best actors in the world, but we rarely get to see him playing leads in these territories.
Sweet, moving, believable. The director of the brilliantly innovative The Act of Killing revisits the Indonesian killing fields for a murder-mystery on a genocidal scale. Screwball comedy ensues. Try The Squid and the Whale by the same director. So much of the style is there. The use of popular music. The feeling for street talk. And, of course, De Niro as he should be best remembered. The Rosetta Stone for Scorsesians. The spin off from Despicable Me is the 13th highest grossing film of all time.
The picture takes in all humanity from the Stone Age through the Napoleonic era up to the court of Queen Elizabeth. The best film ever about heating oil supply. The most utterly fabulous costumes for Chastain. Deserves to be better known. Mousehunt Gore Verbinski, Criminally underrated family caper in which warring brothers — Nathan Lane and Lee Evans — team up to renovate a house. But how will they get rid of the crafty rodent on the premises? Mudbound Dees Rees, Sprawling tale of interlocking characters — some white, some African-American — in the years after the second World War. You could argue that Network is prophetic.
But the film failed to hit on the sheer banality that was to come. Brilliant all the same. A terrifying demonstration of how billionaires like Ayn Rand-admiring Peter Thiel and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson can silence and shut down journalism. Notes on Blindness Peter Middleton, James Spinney, In , after years of deteriorating vision, the writer and theologian John Hull lost the last traces of light sensation. For the next three years, he recorded more than 16 hours on audio cassette, recordings that form the spine of this achingly poignant film. When Netflix set the great Korean director loose on this ecological fable they promised no restrictions.
It seems they were good to their word. Was he addressing his own collaboration with the Communist witch hunts? Brando and Steiger are untouchable. He was, thus, well-placed to direct a film about an unlovely man defending unlovely material from even less lovely censorship. Woody Harrelson was terrific as the roguish anti-hero. Despite being a serial borrower, his obsessions and quirks have become an immovable part of cinema.
All that came together in his still-delicious second film. The music complements that action. He has a lot to answer for. What can it mean? The only feature directed by designer Saul Bass and a classic, silver-age sci-fi. Prepare to feel freaked.
Can a dedicated teacher Paula Patton and social worker Mariah Carey make a difference? The coming generational conflicts are prematurely addressed in one of the best westerns ever made. We need more Hawks on Netflix. Team with Groundhog Dog for a manic Murray double bill. Serpico Sidney Lumet, Honest cop Frank Serpico Al Pacino turns whistleblower on his corrupt colleagues in this classic gritty thriller.
Add Donnie Brasco for a perfect Pacino double bill. Tim Robbins is good. Morgan Freeman is better. Selma Ava DuVernay, A beautifully shot, powerfully acted study of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery in There is an oddly high British presence among the cast. Tom Wilkinson is President Johnson. Tim Roth is George Wallace. David Oyelowo is particularly strong as Martin Luther King. Somehow or other, it got nominated for only two Oscars.
McQueen shoots with customary fluid grace. The sense of moral squalor and awkward legacies is powerful. For all that, the argument for the realness of sex addiction is weak. Would he ever pull himself together? With one sweep Spike Lee had arrived in the room next to the mainstream. His debut feature — shot in glossy black and white by Ernest Dickerson — studies a young Brooklyn woman as she moves between three potential partners. The Irish director John Carney has found his own thing — the uplifting vernacular musical — and he has never done that thing better than with this autobiographical gem.
Maybe a song can save their lives.
The Wall was built in Smithfield, you know. Richard Burton is bleary and befuddled as the circus operative who seems to have gone off the rails. These were the inmates who, granted little more than a stay of execution, assisted in the operation of the gas chambers and the disposal of the murdered. Saul is battered back to reality when he comes across the body of his son in the chamber.
Hands down best film on Netflix.